Our second reading this 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time is from Ephesians 4:30-5:2. Today we modern Catholics are aware of our religion as having lots of beliefs, or doctrines, but at its beginning, Christianity was a way of living and a way of praising God; beliefs emerged later. In this passage from Ephesians, we are admonished to remove from our hearts bitterness, fury and anger. They are not sinful acts but inner dispositions that lead us to sin. Jesus himself famously said that it is what is in the heart that defiles a person. We might also remember the “seven capital sins” of anger, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony, a list from the fourth century Desert Fathers. So we see that early Christians tried to figure out the roots or causes of bad behaviors. Isn’t that still great wisdom for today? Endlessly confessing sinful actions won’t help us be holy; finding out why we do sinful actions and then disarming that cause somehow, with God’s help — that is the more helpful spiritual effort! Happy digging for roots this week!
— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia